Case Study – Application to Remove Father from Care Proceedings

Case Study – Application to Remove Father from Care Proceedings

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council v ML & Anor [2022] EWHC 746 (Fam)

The Local Authority in this case applied to the court for permission not to serve the father with notice of the care proceedings and to remove him as a party to the proceedings because of concerns about the risk of harm this could pose to the child, aged 16, and who had made a number of serious allegations against the father and who had not had any contact with the father for many years.

The facts of this case were unusual because the father already knew about the court proceedings and wanted to be involved in the case.

As the father was not present at the court hearing, the Attorney General was represented as an advocate to the court to ensure that the court had balanced legal arguments when considering such a serious issue.

The judge determined that the father should be served with proper notice of the proceedings and that his right to a fair trial meant he should be served and have the chance to put forward his position to the court in relation to the child. The Judge noted that the child was settled and safe in her placement and that she had support to understand the Judge’s decision. The Judge gave directions for the documents in the proceedings to be redacted to ensure that the child’s whereabouts were not notified to the father, including her placement, school and any future placements.

The full case can be viewed here:

Maria Chainani is a solicitor in the family department specialising in representing parents, children and extended family members in care proceedings and private law children proceedings. Maria is contactable on 01268 240400